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How to Practice Conscious PR

By Nastasia Marjanovic, PR Consultant at Straight Up PR

In recent times we’ve seen such a positive movement towards conscious living. Australia has become more eco-friendly and there’s been a huge shift in attitude and conversation about the war on waste. From banning the bag, to the decrease in use of single use plastic (goodbye coffee cups and hello beautiful ceramic keep cups!) but unfortunately for many, that’s where it seems to stop. A vast number of Australians are making more conscious decisions in their day-to-day life, but are these translating into their work life too?

PR has a bit of a bad wrap when it comes to it’s environmentally unfriendly ways – and rightly so. Influencer Jadé Tuncdoruk recently took to Instagram to ask PR’s and brands to use less plastic in their send outs. It was worrying to see how much Jadé was throwing out in just one day.

At Straight Up PR, we pride ourselves on working with brands and businesses that are positively impacting the world, and we ensure our strategies and recommendations reflect both their values and ours. We love working with clients to execute campaigns that are impactful, yet consciously driven. So how, as an industry, can we create a movement and change the way things are being done?

Here are some ways Straight Up PR takes a conscious approach to PR events and send outs for clients:

Running a Conscious Event

The PR industry is known for hosting extravagant events for brands and businesses, and there are multiple hosted a day, all around the country, all year round. These events would be major contributors to unnecessary waste. So how as a PR agency or business can you make positive changes?

Opt for glass or paper where possible. At a recent event we hosted for Pic’s Peanut Butter, instead of getting plastic water bottles, we used Carton & Co., who bottle their water in cardboard, for the fitness style event. These water ‘bottles’ are eco-friendly, recyclable cartons, and you could tell guests were super pleased with this option over plastic bottles of water. Like every event, we focused on choosing options that were environmentally friendly. On top of the carton waters, we chose wooden plates and cutlery over plastic, used branded hessian bags for the gift bags instead of glossy plastic and borrowed yoga mats from lululemon instead of purchasing and throwing away yoga mats – don’t forget about waste when it comes to ‘things’ used for an event too that are necessary in the moment, then forgotten about (and thrown out) the next.

The other type of waste that occurs is food waste. My personal pet peeve. As a lover of food, it pains me to see people throw away food in general, but especially after an event. Often food is used for the Instagram wow factor, as opposed to actually feeding those attending the event. At Straight Up PR, we’re conscious of working with companies who have a similar approach to us, like Platter Wonderland. Not only is Manar a dream to work with, she ensures no food goes to waste. If there’s ever food leftover after an event, we both ensure that guests are sent home with leftovers, and if there’s anything remaining after that, Manar delivers it to a homeless shelter nearby or local community services like the fire station.

Conscious Product Send Outs

Ah, the infamous PR send outs. The bread and butter of PR and promotion. I’m not going to lie, they are a necessary part of what we do. It’s important to get products and information into the hands of Media and Influencers. But at what (environmental) cost? It’s easy to send product wrapped in bubble wrap, covered in plastic with foam balls in the boxes to help avoid breakage while they’re being delivered. At Straight Up PR, a lot of the clients we work with use glass packaging for their products, which makes it tricky and riskier when it comes to postage. There are definitely options out there that are a bit more expensive than plastic, like tissue, paper or GreenWrap, but it’s worth it. We also have no doubt that the recipient is pleased with our conscious efforts to not fill boxes with plastic/foam.

These all might seem like small actions, but they’re easy steps that can create a positive ripple effect.


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